What Is MICE? A Guide to Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions

What Is MICE? A Guide to Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, & Exhibitions

Almost everyone has been to events like parties, weddings, conferences, trade shows, and concerts. If you attend an event, whether it is big or small, do you ever wonder who is behind the event?

Everything comes from somewhere. The MICE industry produces quality events that provide participants with special experiences. Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions are referred to as MICE. It represents an important part of the global tourism mix. This sector is sometimes called Business Tourism or Business Events.

What is MICE?

Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions are designated under the MICE acronym. Meeting and event industry terms have gained popularity as alternatives to MICE in recent years.

Every industry has some kind of regular event, so it accounts for a significant part of global business travel. Bringing professionals together, fostering connections, promoting new ideas, and pushing forward growth is always the main objective of the MICE industry.

MICE traditionally refers to business events. Events like concerts and festivals fall into a different categories. Today, many organisers are adding leisure elements to larger events to better engage attendees and make their experience more memorable. The MICE sector is composed of four types of events: meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions.

All of these event types have traditionally been held in person. Recently, the trend of moving smaller gatherings to virtual environments has been on the rise. Due to COVID-19, the MICE industry was impacted by a boom in hybrid and virtual events. However, the four key pillars remain unchanged.

The Four Pillars of MICE

  • Meetings 

Meetings are usually one-day events held in hotel conference rooms or in convention centres. It can range from a small gathering of senior executives to a larger gathering like an annual shareholder meeting.

Meetings bring together people from one company, industry, or project to discuss challenges, set goals, and set plans. Most caterers keep menus simple, and entertainment programs are rare.

  • Incentives 

The incentives segment of MICE is probably the most enjoyable. All travel rewards a company offers to employees, teams, or partners (e.g. affiliates) are included in these programs. In this context, the purpose of an incentive is to thank people for their excellent performance, boost morale, or increase loyalty.

There are many types of incentives, depending on the company that organizes them. The company may send its team on an all-inclusive weekend getaway to a resort outside the city. Some companies plan activities closer to home so employees can bond in an informal setting.

  • Conferences 

Conferences are like supersized meetings. Typically they last more than one day and can vary in size, but usually, they have more attendees than meetings.  Conferences, like incentives, can appear very differently depending on the industry and the organisers.

A conference may include one or more of the following activities:

  • Panels: New findings are presented by a group of experts on a topic. Moderation involves asking questions, ensuring good flow, and possibly taking questions from the audience.
  • Presentations: The latest successes or results of the company may be presented at a company conference. A guest speaker at an industry conference may be a thought leader who will share the latest trends and insights. Visual aids such as props, slides, or other visual elements are often used in presentations.
  • Speeches: Speeches are often delivered at the start or end of conferences. In some cases, it’s the host or organizer who welcomes or thanks, attendees. It is also possible for an industry leader to share solutions to an important issue.
  • Discussions: Panelists can be part of a group. The audience listens to a select group of people speak about a topic. Small groups of attendees are sometimes encouraged to engage in active debate in breakout rooms.
  • Workshops: Participants work on a specific case or do research on a certain topic in a small group. Using this approach, attendees can experience an interactive learning environment.

Conferences usually aim to address and find solutions to challenges facing an industry or business. One way to do this is by sharing new insights and research. Team-building and networking activities are also part of it.

  • Exhibitions 

Exhibitions also referred to as trade shows, are usually massive events attracting visitors and exhibitors from all over the world. Exhibitions typically last from a few days to a week. The target market for most exhibitions is very well-defined and industry-specific.

Trade shows are a place for exhibitors to showcase their products and services, promote their business, and liaise with current and potential partners. Professionals network to find clients and jobs, and they find new solutions to problems through networking.

At exhibitions, there are often several of the activities present at conferences, as well as:

  • Networking events: Subgroups of attendees of trade shows often have networking events. This is an excellent opportunity to meet potential partners, discuss collaborations, and discuss current trends.  
  • Awards: Award shows are part of many exhibitions and recognize industry leaders for their accomplishments. It also serves as a marketing and PR tool for winners. Regardless of whether you’re nominated, it’s worth checking out the award nominees to get some inspiration.
  • New business pitches: Trade shows often have an event dedicated to new business pitches since they want to promote growth and innovation. Getting visibility, funding, clients, and applicants is great for start-ups.

The Importance of the MICE Industry

The MICE industry plays a critical role in the development of the global economy, as well as spreading knowledge & professional practices and building understanding & relationships among different cultures & regions of the world.

Meeting organizers and participants derive the majority of their value from MICE activities. Communities & governments also reap these benefits through significant advances in social & economic advancements.

Also, it emphasizes the importance of face-to-face interactions in developing and maintaining relationships, as well as the efficiencies achieved by attending conventions and exhibitions together rather than travelling separately.

Furthermore, it has a clear effect on global economics & professional development, namely:

  • Facilitating global economic growth by creating forums for new product development, exchange, and marketing
  • Fostering academic, technical, and professional advancement through the global exchange of knowledge, standards, and procedures.
  • Improving & supporting transportation, hospitality, and tourism infrastructure by creating an economically beneficial reason to travel other than for leisure.
  • Encouraging and sustaining business & professional networks for international cooperation and collaboration.

MICE Technology Solutions For Event Organising and Planning

During the past decade, MICE technology has developed at a rapid pace. Listed below are some industry-leading examples.

MICE technology for event organising and planning 

  • Proposal management: You can automate proposal creation with modern proposal management systems. In addition, you can create interactive microsites, which make it easier for clients to read than cumbersome PDFs.
  • Supplier networks: You can list your venue on these networks – like 10times, and receive notifications when an organizer posts a request for an event proposal (RFP). Locations benefit from this since they can respond quickly to RFPs and can work with international planners.
  • Event diagramming tools: Venue organisers can carefully plan the layout and layout of their venue with them. You can map out every chair, table, booth, and hand sanitiser station. As a result of COVID-19, it is essential to ensure events adhere to all safety regulations.
  • Room block management: It’s easier for hotels to manage event room blocks with tools instead of endless spreadsheets. Organizers receive a private booking link that feeds attendee bookings directly into the hotel’s reservation system.

MICE technology at the event

  • Facial recognition: Using this technology, each registered attendee will be granted admission on Day 1 of the event. Guests will also no longer need to present IDs or tickets, as their faces will be scanned as they enter.
  • Augmented, mixed, and virtual reality: As these technologies progress, they create opportunities for more immersive and engaging events. AR and VR open endless possibilities for the MICE industry, especially for product demonstrations, presentations, and entertainment.
  • Internet of Things: With the Internet of Things, it is possible to control thermostats, speakers, and lighting remotely via web-based access control (think digital keys).
  • Virtual event platforms: The growing demand for hybrid and virtual events has necessitated more sophisticated virtual platforms. Our Virtual event platform – FLOOR provides organisers and attendees with an area for networking, engagement, and interaction online.

The Most Common Questions about MICE Events

Let’s take a look at some of the most questions about events.

  • How do MICE events work? Who works in the MICE industry?

There is a wide network of professionals who work on the M, I, C, and E aspects of the MICE market. From selecting a venue to establishing a logo, there are many factors to consider.

To create a unique experience for their clients, business leaders turn to trusted specialists, such as event planners and travel agents. Meeting planners, hotels, conference centres, cruise ships, catering companies, logistics specialists, private tour guides, and incentive houses are some of the companies that operate in this market.

MICE has its own professional trade organizations, tourism boards, tourism trade associations, and travel-sales professionals.

  • Where do MICE events take place?

Client firms want locations that are beautiful, large or have facilities that are impressive. While scenic locations are desirable, they should also be easily accessible and practical. There is a particular concern when people are coming from around the world, or at least from a central area of a country.

Brussels, Dubai, and Seoul, all of which are major MICE hubs, all have large international airports with numerous flights connecting to them. The Bahamas, Thailand, and Croatia, with their beautiful weather and activities, are also popular destinations. In spite of their fewer connections, they are ideal for incentive travel.

Countries gain valuable international exposure to international business, as well as to scientific and educational communities. As a result, tourist boards market themselves as MICE destinations, as Jamaica does.

  • What facilities make MICE events more successful?

Particularly for meetings, conferences, and events, infrastructure is crucial. It is less important for incentive travel.

The venue must be adaptable and scalable. A business meeting, product presentation, business course, and seminar need to be accommodated. The majority of centres include large auditoriums, exhibition spaces, meeting rooms, and function rooms. Ample parking and catering facilities are essential. Transport and accessibility are key factors in making an excellent destination, so they must be close to international airports, main railway stations, and motorways.

  • Is it possible to hold MICE events all year round?

Where it’s cold somewhere, it’s hot somewhere else, so yes, they can. There are few restrictions on when MICE events can be held. Organizing MICE events year-round has become easier as worldwide travel has increased in the past decade.

Local conditions, however, must be taken into account. Winters in Europe can be harsh. Tropical destinations will experience monsoon seasons. These are, in a sense, natural considerations.

MICE events are now essentially time- and location-independent, which is a positive spin on the pandemic. They are able to offer a huge array of online networking opportunities, even if they lack geographic appeal.

  • Why makes MICE events a successful form of tourism?

There are so many answers here. Tourism, education, and commerce can all be benefited from events held in attractive locations.

In addition to travelling, gaining knowledge, and having fun, participants are motivated to participate. Sales and trade are the primary motivations of firms.

The influx of funds from inbound tourism motivates governments. Australia has developed a national strategy for growing the MICE sector, making it a leader in the sector. The country also provided financial support during the pandemic.

MICE travel agencies have sprung up with such clear selling points, and many are now affiliated with large corporations. American Express serves as a good example.

  • What are the downsides of MICE events?

There is always a cost associated with tourism. A short-term solution to local economic problems can cause further difficulties to a community. Sustainable tourism practices are vital to a sustainable economy.

Meetings and conventions generate a lot of waste through printed materials, conference merchandising, non-reusable exhibition materials, and single-use food and drink containers. The carbon footprint from all the travel is undeniable, too.

Explore Upcoming Global MICE Events On 10Times

With the ability to connect with the right suppliers and stay up-to-date with fast-changing industry trends, MICE events provide event organizers with an ideal platform for finding lucrative business opportunities.

Whether you’re an event planner, head of an events agency, a buyer of incentive travel or an event expert in-house, you can check the latest MICE events on 10times. 

Key Takeaways

MICE is a huge industry and there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a sociable salesperson or a creative planner. It is dynamic, versatile, and has a growing number of professionals. In fact, there are good reasons to believe that this essential industry will continue to grow in the coming years.

As a meeting and event professional, you can find all the upcoming MICE events on 10times seamlessly. 

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